The Historic Centre of Malaga
14 April, 2014
The streets of Malaga are home to a special kind of charm and warmth. To stroll through the centre of the city is a chance to see streets full of history and to discover numerous points of interest within close proximity of one another. One of these places is the pretty cream-coloured façade and plant pot-adorned balconies of the hidden-away Pasaje Chinitas, which evokes the past and is home to the legendary Café Cantante de Chinitas. This place was once frequented by bullfighters, writers and poets such as Federico García Lorca.
The Café de Chinitas was a scandalous and the most famous “singer’s café” in Malaga, known for the artistic and traditional performances that took place between 1857 and 1937. Due to its enormous popularity, the alleyway in which it was located still bears its name and the verse of Federico García Lorcapay tribute to it thus:
At Café de Chinitas, Paquiro said to his brother: “I am braver than you, more bullfighter and more Gypsy”. He took out his watch saying: “This bull must die before half past four.”
The name was recovered by the famous Restaurante Chinitas, which bases its culinary offer on shellfish, meat, ham and typical dishes from Malaga, such as the fritura malagueña (fried fish platter) or the arroz caldoso con bogavante (lobster with creamy rice).
Nearby, you can also find the Bodega Quitapenas, which first opened in 1880 and specialises in fish and shellfish, such as fried octopus, squid, baby squid, cuttlefish, cod, fish roe, prawns and razor clams, or the excellent tortilla de camarones (shrimp omelette) that they wash down with local wines.
The Taberna Trillo is one of the oldest restaurants in the old part of Malaga, with its delicious specialities of codballs in courgette sauce, goat’s liver and onion, battered sea nettle and Iberian meat stuffed with chorizo and pepper ali-oli sauce. A truly luxurious way to discover the local gastronomy.
Only a few metres away, Malaga Cathedral soars into the sky. This is one of the most valuable Renaissance gems to be found in Andalusia. The Basílica de la Encarnación is popularly referred to by the name of la Manquita because it was never finished. Its artistic treasures include a piece of the Divino Morales, a sculpture of the Virgen de los Dolores de Pedro de Mena, others of Andrea del Sarto and Van Dyck and various paintings by Niño de Guevara.
Continuing north, you will come to Calle Calderería where the Taberna Mitjada can be found. This central and busy place has enormous barrels in the square that give it a rustic feel. They serve rolls, toasted bread, fried fish and other dishes with sweet Pedro Ximénez wine, the very essence of this bar. Dating from the early 19th century elaborate wrought iron work decorating the windows is worthy of note.
Very close by, at the Gibralfaro, they serve generous portions of fried fish, aubergines in honey and battered fish at very good prices. Of course, that’s if you don’t mind smelling of fried fish for the rest of the day.
In the pretty Plaza de la Merced, you will find the Picasso House-Museum. Located in the Palacio de Buenavista, a 16th Century building that has been declared a National Monument, this museum houses more than 280 works by the artist (including paintings, sculptures, drawings and engravings). The twelve galleries of the Picasso Museum include works by the artist from when he was only 13 years old to his most famous creations, from cubism to his so-called “blue period”.
At the base of the hill on which can be found the Alcazaba castle, Calle Alcazabilla is home to the oldRoman Theatre of Malaga. It remained buried for centuries until it was uncovered in 1951. It can be visited for free throughout the year.
The Alcazaba and the Castillo de Gibralfaro together form a walled fortress and one of the most beautiful places in the city. From the Gibralfaro tower, it is possible to enjoy some magnificent views of the city of Malaga.
Finally, Calle Cervantes is home to the Restaurante el Refectorium. Its delicious dishes are based on shellfish, meat, vegetables and salads. The place has become rightly famous and the restaurant offers some lovely views of the entire Malaga bay.
Picture by paolotrabattoni.it
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14 April, 2014